When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Battambang, Cambodia, 13-year-old Ny had no idea when she would return to school. “I had no class and I missed my school. I stayed home and studied with my brother,” she says.
What Ny didn’t know was that another crisis was brewing at home. Ny lives with two brothers and her elderly grandmother who is at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. The family has lost income due to the pandemic and food became scarce. Weathering the storm of COVID-19 while also battling to put food on the table became a daily struggle.
Ny’s situation isn’t unique. A World Vision assessment in the area found that COVID-19 had impacted the livelihoods of 72 percent of respondents.
But Ny and her community aren’t facing this crisis alone. Ny is sponsored by a family overseas, and throughout the darkest days of the pandemic, she has had their support and encouragement. Support from sponsors and other donors has meant World Vision could provide 184 families with emergency food support, making sure that 853 vulnerable children in Ny’s community could go to bed with full bellies. Ny’s family received enough food to sustain them for a month, allowing them to get back on their feet until they were able to earn an income again.
Sponsorship has also helped Ny and other children in her community to stay safe throughout the pandemic with activities to teach and encourage good hygiene, and it has helped them to keep learning through a reading campaign. For Ny, having something to do in the day is the best part. “I joined a reading competition with my friend,” she explains. “I received books as an award; I am so happy!”
While she doesn’t know what the coming months will hold, Ny knows that her sponsor will be there to stand alongside her, and she is holding on to her dream for the future: “I want to be a teacher!”
Right now, thousands of girls urgently need sponsors so they can build a fearless future like Ny.